A catch straight out of the deep blue sea
Canadian lobsterman Bobby Stoddard caught this rare blue lobster in early May. He's not sure what to do with it.
June 11th, 2012
09:46 PM ET

A catch straight out of the deep blue sea

A rare event is said to happen once in a blue moon. But a blue moon has nothing on a blue lobster.

Canadian lobster boat captain Bobby Stoddard said he and his crew were hauling in their lobster traps one day in early May when one of the men called out, "Hey, we got a pretty one in this trap!"

"I turned around and said, 'Holy smoke!' " said Stoddard, 51, of Clarks Harbour, Nova Scotia.

In the trap with three other, ordinary greenish-brown lobsters was a remarkably bright blue one, the first lobster of that hue Stoddard had seen in his 33 years of fishing for a living.

"This is the only one that I've ever seen," he told CNN. "And my dad has been a lobsterman of about 55 years, and he caught one about 45 years ago, but hadn't seen one since."

Bobby Stoddard, lobster hunter

Stoddard captains one lobster boat, his father another, and his three brothers work with them. On a good day, they haul in about 3,000 of the crustaceans, he said. Multiply that times 33 seasons, and that's a lot of lobsters. But only one blue one.

According to the University of Maine Lobster Institute, blue lobsters are a one-in-2-million phenomenon. A genetic variation causes the lobster to produce an excessive amount of a particular protein that gives it that azure aspect.

Stoddard offered his find (a male, by the way) to a nearby ocean research institute, but "they didn't seem too interested," he said.

His girlfriend pushed him to offer it for sale for on the classified-ad site Kajiji.com, he said. Having no idea what the market for a 1.5-pound blue lobster might be, he priced it at $200.

"I wanted to put a number high enough on it so nobody would be interested in it," Stoddard confessed.

However, he said he started to get some "weird" phone calls and e-mails scolding him for trying to sell such a rare creature, so he canceled the ad.

"I'm kind of a shy guy," he said. "When things get controversial, I kind of go hide. This is what I do for a living; I catch lobsters and sell them. I'm just trying to do the right thing. I thought, 'I just don't need this hassle.' "

For now, the cerulean crustacean is residing comfortably in a nice, cold holding tank at Stoddard's business, feeding on bits of fish and mollusks as normal. A massive aquarium is under construction near the CN Tower in Toronto, but Stoddard hasn't decided whether to offer his specimen for display there.

"I don't know what the best thing is to do," he said. "It probably belongs back in the ocean, but I'd like for as many people as possible to see it."

Related stories:

Blue lobsters aren't the only rare ones - what about calico lobsters?

And then of course, there are always really, really big lobsters as well.

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Filed under: Animals • Canada • Food • Lobsters • Science
soundoff (593 Responses)
  1. Phillco

    He shouldn't discriminate and cook him up right away.

    June 12, 2012 at 2:47 am | Report abuse |
  2. mark

    scolding him for selling it? do they know it's going to be sold anyway? if they're that concerned with such rarity those people should buy it and do whatever they think is the proper thing (i'm not even sure what that would be...?) i think smaller lobster-like things do come in that color. i've seen them in aquarium stores..maybe crayfish?

    June 12, 2012 at 2:56 am | Report abuse |
  3. driveless

    toss it back!

    June 12, 2012 at 2:56 am | Report abuse |
  4. TeachAman

    "When things get controversial, I kind of go hide." Way to go, studly.

    June 12, 2012 at 3:21 am | Report abuse |
  5. Freedom

    Please put that blue lobster back in the North Atlantic where is belongs!

    June 12, 2012 at 3:22 am | Report abuse |
  6. Speedy Gonzoles

    If they were all blue and you found a red one would you still eat it or think its the devil? Give it to an aquarium. The next guy who catches it won't call the news.

    June 12, 2012 at 3:25 am | Report abuse |
  7. die die

    yes, please, more blue lobsters! put him back! 🙂

    June 12, 2012 at 3:39 am | Report abuse |
  8. tony b

    It would look good as a hood ornament.

    June 12, 2012 at 3:52 am | Report abuse |
  9. joseph


    June 12, 2012 at 4:38 am | Report abuse |
  10. Line Briand


    There is an underwater photographer that would be very interested in your catch of the day. He has been looking for ages to find one and capture it "on film", although it would be digital in these days and ages. Write me a note and I will put the two of you in contact. He is a reputed photographer that has written several books on marine life. Thank you.

    June 12, 2012 at 4:55 am | Report abuse |
  11. anti-racist

    Affirmative action at its best....giving special privileges to the minority due to the color of its skin (or shell). Do the right thing and give it an equal opportunity to be served hot on a plate!

    June 12, 2012 at 5:22 am | Report abuse |
  12. ALLGloryToGod

    ALL glory to God for His awesome creations.

    June 12, 2012 at 5:33 am | Report abuse |
  13. Aspen

    Well for $200 anyone could adopt it and do whatever they feel is right. You pay more than that for getting a dog or cat from a no kill shelter. The guy catches and sells lobsters, it's what he does.

    June 12, 2012 at 5:40 am | Report abuse |
  14. John

    He must breed this blue lobster. The name of the restaurant chain kind of writes itself...

    June 12, 2012 at 5:45 am | Report abuse |
    • John K

      Hahahaa...Sir, you are pure genius. I agree with you.

      June 12, 2012 at 6:40 am | Report abuse |
  15. mique

    I saw the photo. Let it go.

    June 12, 2012 at 5:48 am | Report abuse |
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